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ES13_Chemical Technologies For Environmental Sustainability (TQSA)_Miguel Angel Gutierrez Ortiz

Miguel Angel Gutierrez Ortiz

+34 946012682

Group description

The “Chemical Technologies for Environmental Sustainability” (TQSA) research group is a Consolidated Research Unit of the Basque R&D&I System. The TQSA research group directs its activity to the development of knowledge and technologies, generally catalytic, for the purification of effluents by eliminating/converting pollutants. Likewise, TQSA deals with the improvement and optimization of energy generation and production strategies in the chemical sector to minimize environmental impact, promoting the trend towards an industrial activity characterized by cleaner processes. In short, TQSA provides scientific knowledge and technology to incorporate more efficient, sustainable and competitive materials and processes into the production system.

The TQSA unit is organized into different work teams. The project themes are chosen based on the strategic objectives of the TQSA unit, as well as the priority lines framed in the R&D&I plans of the Basque Country (PCTI-RIS3), Spain (National Plan), EU (H2020) and other international programs. The continuous benchmarking carried out by the members of the group in congresses and research networks with researchers who lead related projects in prestigious centres, as well as the constant bibliographic update, allow the analysis, the evaluation and the possible reorientation of own objectives and strategies. In addition, TQSA tries to meet the needs of the industry, carrying out projects and/or contracts with different companies in the chemical and energy sector.

The researchers of the TQSA unit, organized into different teams, work in different research lines and projects oriented towards the development of new materials and the promotion of new manufacturing technologies with greater efficiency in the use of resources with limited environmental impact. The multidisciplinary nature of this general definition is evidenced in the specific contributions that the group makes in different research lines:

•    Science and technology of materials. Structured materials as catalysts for power generation and environmental protection. Synthesis of catalysts at the nano-scale.

•    Production and storage of energy. Processes for obtaining hydrogen, such as WGS (Water Gas Shift) and catalytic reforming. Purification of hydrogen streams to feed them to fuel cells.

•    New production systems: intensification of processes. Design of new structured and heat exchange microreactors for highly exothermic reactions.

•    Chemical recycling and waste valorization. Chemical use of biorefinery waste. Use of natural gas or CO2 for the production of fuels and chemical compounds with high added value.

•    Climate change and sustainability. Synthesis of catalysts and process control for the purification of gaseous effluents from mobile sources (automobiles) and fixed sources (industrial production).

•    Enviromental health. New strategies for the evaluation and control of air quality in urban environments.


  • Catalysts synthesis and characterization
  • Structured materials
  • Chemical Kinetics
  • Reactor design and modeling
  • CO2 valorization
  • Environmental protection
  • Sustainable H2 production

Team Description

  • Miguel Angel Gutierrez Ortiz (Principal Investigator)

    ORCID: 0000-0003-1816-0793

  • Rubén López Fonseca (Co-Principal Investigator)

    ORCID: 0000-0002-1048-3988

  • Juan Ramón González Velasco (Research staff)

    ORCID: 0000-0002-8679-1805

  • José Ignacio Gutiérrez Ortíz (Research staff)

    ORCID: 0000-0002-0024-5003

  • José Antonio González Marcos (Research staff)

    ORCID: 0000-0002-5962-7938

  • Pilar González Marcos (Research staff)

    ORCID: 0000-0002-3889-5810

  • José María Castresana Pelayo (Research staff)

    ORCID: 0000-0002-1048-3988

  • Asier Aranzabal Maiztegi (Research staff)

    ORCID: 0000-0003-0023-7588

  • José Luis Ayastuy Arizti (Research staff)

    ORCID: 0000-0002-2770-5233

  • Unai Iriarte Velasco (Research staff)

    ORCID: 0000-0001-6269-6427

  • Beatriz De Rivas Martín (Research staff)

    ORCID: 0000-0001-6595-8728

  • Beñat Pereda Ayo (Research staff)

    ORCID: 0000-0002-1832-1334

  • Unai De La Torre Larrañaga (Research staff)

    ORCID: 0000-0002-2502-504X

  • Zouhair Boukha (Post-Doctoral Researcher)

    ORCID: 0000-0002-7947-1897

  • Jon Ander Onrubia Calvo (Post-Doctoral Researcher)

    ORCID: 0000-0003-1351-859X

  • Andoni Choya Atencia (Post-Doctoral Researcher)

    ORCID: 0000-0002-0955-1322

  • Alberto José Reynoso Estévez (Post-Doctoral Researcher)

    ORCID: 0000-0001-7143-4701


  • Consolidated Research Unit of the Basque RDI System: "Tecnologías Químicas para la Sostenibilidad Ambiental"

    Pl: J.R. González Velasco

    Funding Agency*: Basque Government

    Ongoing: yes

    Project reference: IT1297-19 (RE)

  • Process integration in CO2 metha-nation: catalysts and dual Function materials, reactor design and opera-tional strategies

    Pl: J.R. González Velasco

    Funding Agency*: Nacional

    Ongoing: yes

    Project reference: PID2019-105960RB-C21 (NAT)

  • Coupling strategies for scavenging reactive C1 intermediates in hydrogen generation (COUPC1)

    Pl: U. De La Torre Larrañaga

    Funding Agency*: European Union

    Ongoing: yes

    Project reference: H2020-MSCA-IF-2019. (EU)

  • Intensified dry reforming of methane over nickel catalytic foams (dryfoam)

    Pl: R. López Fonseca

    Funding Agency*: Plan Nacional de I+D

    Ongoing: yes

    Project reference: PID2019-107105RB-I00 (NAT)

  • Aqueous Phase Partial HydroDeOxyge-nation (APPHDO) of Biomass-derived platform molecules. Production of monofunctionalized chemicals

    Pl: M.A. Gutiérrez Ortíz

    Funding Agency*: Plan Nacional de I+D

    Ongoing: yes

    Project reference: PID2019-106692RB-I00 (NAT)

* INT - International EU - European NAT - National RE - Regional


  • A. Quindimil, M.C. Bacariza, J.A. González-Marcos, C. Henriques, J.R. González-Velasco, = Enhancing the CO2 methanation activity of γ-Al2O3 supported mono- and bi-metallic catalysts prepared by glycerol assisted impregnation, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 2021
    10.1016/ j.apcatb. 2021.120322

  • A. Choya, B. De Rivas, J.R. González-Velasco, J.I. Gutiérrez-Ortíz, = Optimization of bimetallic Co-Ni supported catalysts for oxidation of methane in natural gas vehicles, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 2021
    10.1016/ j.apcatb. 2020.119712

  • A. Bermejo-López, B. Pereda-Ayo, J.A. González-Marcos, J.R. González-Velasco, = Alternate cycles of CO2 storage andin situhydrogenation to CH4 on Ni-Na2CO3/Al2O3: influence of promoter addition and calcination temperature, Sustainable Energy and Fuels, 2021
    10.1039/ d0se01677b

  • A. Morales-Marín, J.L. Ayastuy, U. Iriarte-Velasco, M.A. Gutiérrez-Ortíz, = Nickel aluminate spinel-derived catalysts for the aqueous phase reforming of glycerol: Effect of reduction temperature, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 2019
    10.1016/ j.apcatb. 2018.12.020

  • J.A. Martín-Martín, M. Gallastegi-Villa, M.P. González-Marcos, A. Aranzabal, J.R. González-Velasco, = Bimodal effect of water on V2O5/TiO2 catalysts with different vanadium species in the simultaneous NO reduction and 1,2-dichlorobenzene oxidation, Engineering, 2021
    10.1016/ j.cej.2021. 129013

Research Lines


Structured catalysts for process intensification

  • In recent years, the TQSA Group has acquired solid experience in the efficient deposition of catalytic films on microchannel metallic structures, which offer a superior catalytic performance to that of traditional monolithic systems. The catalytic formulations deposited on metallic microchannels have been successfully tested by the TQSA group in applications such as hydrogen purification (WGS and COPROX) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR), using alumina as a catalytic support.
  • Recently, the Group has started a new Research Project (PID2019-107105RB-I00) which intends to synthesize Ni based foams for the intensification of the dry reforming of methane. 

New catalytic formulations for the control of VOCs, NOx, PCDD and PCFD

  • Within the great variety of pollutants from industrial processes, chlorinated volatile organic compounds (VOCs), dioxins (PCDD) and furans (PCDF), nitrogen oxides stand out. The emissions of these compounds constitute a serious problem for the environment and the health. The TQSA group develops a wide variety of catalysts based on zeolites, perovskites and oxides for the destruction and/or conversion of those pollutants into harmless compounds.


Structured reactors with enhanced heat exchange capacity for highly exothermic reactions

  • The management of the heat generated by exothermic reactions is crucial for the intensification of processes, since these reactions are thermodynamically favored at low temperatures. This is the case of the hydrogenation of CO2 to produce synthetic natural gas (CH4). Novel reactors, such as structured reactors and channel microreactors with the possibility of heat exchange are design and tested.

Dual function materials for the CO2 hydrogenation to CH4

  • Among the different alternatives for the valorization of carbon dioxide, the hydrogenation of CO2 for the production of methane is the most favorable reaction is terms of thermodynamics. CO2 captured form combustion process effluents, can be catalytically reacted with renewable H2 to produce synthetic natural gas (GNS) or methane, according to the Sabatier´s reaction. We have developed a novel dual function material for the combined CO2 capture and hydrogenation in a unique device alternating CO2 and H2 feeds. The catalyst is composed of a noble metal and an alkaline oxide, which acts as CO2 adsorbent.


Synthesis of hydrogen, biofuels and high added value products from biomass derived polyols

  • A catalytic technology in aqueous phase is developed to obtain H2, biofuels and high added value liquid products. The main advantage of the aqueous phase process consists in the energy saving that supposes not having to vaporize large amounts of water. The processes studied are the Aqueous Phase Reforming (APR) which, depending on the characteristics of the catalyst and the operating conditions, can be directed to the production of H2 or alkanes, and Hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) with H2 generated in situ.

Dry reforming of CH4 for the synthesis of high added value products

  • Dry reforming of methane (DRM) is recognized as one of the most sustainable processes for the simultaneous valorization of carbon dioxide and methane, two of the most important gases contributing to global warming. This technology converts CO2 and CH4 into synthesis gas that can be used for the synthesis of high value-added products such as long-chain hydrocarbons and oxygenates. Given the high endothermicity of the DRM reaction, the use of catalytic systems can lead to high conversion levels at low temperatures, and, as a result, reduce the energy requirements of the process, bringing this technology closer to a more favorable economic balance.

Cross-border Collaboration (if any)

The TQSA research Unit has actively collaborated with Professor Daniel Duprez from the University of Poitiers. A few years ago, our PhD student N.K. Gamboa-Rosales carried out a research stay in Poitiers under the supervision of Nicolas Bion and Daniel Duprez. As a result, a joint work was published in a prestigious journal:

-   N.K. Gamboa-Rosales, J.L. Ayastuy, Z. Boukha, N. Bion, D. Duprez, J.A. Perez-Omil, E Del Rio, M.A. Gutiérrez-Ortíz, Appl. Catal. B: Environ. 168-169 (2015) 87-97.

Besides, D. Duprez has participated as International Lecturer in the Master Degree of Chemical Engineering at the University of The Basque Country, UPV/EHU.

Recently, the TQSA research unit has also established a collaboration with Professor D. Broseta from the University of Pau, who leads the Group Interfaces and Dispersed Systems. The aim is to characterize by calorimetry and by high-pressure adsorption samples prepared by TQSA.

Finally, although not in the region of New Aquitaine, the TQSA research group has an active collaboration with professor Philippe Vernoux from the University of Lyon, with two joint works:

-   J.A. Onrubia-Calvo, B. Pereda-Ayo, A. Caravaca, U. De-La-Torre, P. Vernoux, J.R. González-Velasco, Appl. Catal. B: Environ. 266 (2020) 118628.

-   J.A. Onrubia-Calvo, B. Pereda-Ayo, A. Bermejo-López, A. Caravaca, P. Vernoux, J.R. González-Velasco, Appl. Catal. B: Environ. 259 (2019) 118052.